Diddy will introduce Davis at the event Saturday, held one day before the Grammy Awards.
Davis said Diddy called his cellphone Friday, saying, “Everybody is trying to get me to call you.”
“The demand is so overwhelming,” said Davis, who has hosted the event for 37 years. “How do you tell people who’ve been coming for 10, 20 years, that it’s not a lifetime pass?”
The pre-Grammy party is always white-hot and has featured performances from top acts like Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Carlos Santana. This year, The Kinks will take the stage to play a medley of their hits, with the help of Jackson Browne and Elvis Costello. Mumford & Sons are hoping to arrive in time to get in on the performance, Davis said.
“It remains to be seen if their flight lands early enough, if we’ll go on without a rehearsal. But Mumford & Sons (said), ‘(They’re) our biggest influence. We love Ray Davies, we love The Kinks.’“
At the Beverly Hilton on Friday, Alicia Keys was getting ready to rehearse. Monica and Brandy will also hit the stage. Vintage clips of the annual event played on the big screen, showing performances from Houston, Lou Reed, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin and Usher.
Houston isn’t on the performance list, but that could change.
“It’s her favorite night of the year ... (so) who knows by the end of the evening,” said Davis, who founded Arista Records and is now the chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment.